We believe full disclosure is absolutely critical, both for the husband who has acted out sexually and for his wife. Disclosure allows the husband to come clean and finally be free of his secrets, while also empowering the wife with the truth about the behaviors that have violated their relationship. While the process is difficult, disclosure opens the possibility for a couple to have a foundation of truth and honesty within their relationship – a foundation upon which they can grow, heal and restore, or in many cases, discover true intimacy.
Our desire is to use a facilitated disclosure that helps filter out inappropriate/unnecessary details while insuring that the husband brings the “breadth and depth” of his behaviors into the light. Our intent is to steer the process in a way that supports both husband and wife in this difficult, but essential place.
While disclosure is difficult, we have found, in the vast majority of cases, both husband and wife were glad they made the decision to go through disclosure.
Triage For Disclosure
Disclosure can be compared to a complicated surgery. The surgery is absolutely necessary to sustain and extend life, but the patient is often not initially strong enough to survive. Therefore, prior to the needed surgery, physicians often address other physical needs before they are willing to perform the surgery. We believe the same is often true for individuals and couples who come to us for disclosure. Therefore, for the protection of everyone involved New Hope will only proceed with a facilitated full disclosure when the following criteria are met.
- Individual & Couple Stabilization.
- Husband has completed his “Three Circles” initial recovery plan.
- Husband is actively seeing a counselor/therapist.
- Wife is connected with a counselor who is trained in trauma work.
- Wife needs to have an established a “Personal Plan.”
- Husband and wife need to be actively involved in support groups.
We do not expect you to come to us with these things already completed and we are happy to walk with you through them. However, we will not commit to moving towards a formal disclosure process until these are met because we do not want to add more harm where great harm has already occurred.
- Individual Stabilization for the Wife:
- Connected to a counselor/therapist trained in trauma stabilization and recovery with a good understanding of “Betrayal Trauma.” (This is in addition to being connected to a New Hope Recovery Coach.)
- Personal plan for recovery.
- Aware of and working on trauma issues both from her current relationship and from her past.
- Wife needs to either be plugged into New Hope’s recovery group for wives or another group with whom we have a level of comfort/safety. Plugged in also includes having built connections with other women in the group and not just the leader.
- Individual Stabilization for the Husband:
- Completed his “Three Circles” initial recovery plan. Completion includes getting feedback both from his counselor and his wife on what might be missing.
- Established relationship with Darrell or another CSAT/PSAP.
- Beginning to find traction in establishing and maintaining recovery patterns.
- Needs to be a regular and consistent participant in New Hope’s recovery groups for men and consistently completing his six dailies.
- Couple Stabilization.
- Has learned to handle the inevitable “blow ups” reasonably well.
- Has established some level of individual differentiation. For many, some level of separation is required in the early stages. This could be an in house or out of house separation to provide each partner with the space to process and do the work of their individual recoveries
Rationale for requirements: Disclosure is an intense process that requires a certain level of functioning as individuals and as a couple so that additional harm doesn’t take place. Therefore, Disclosure also requires the following:
- A husband who is committed to moving forward in his recovery and who has begun to succeed in establishing and maintaining his personal recovery plan.
- A wife who willing to at least entertain the possibility and/or hope of reconciliation if the husband is willing to do the work of recovery.
- A couple that has some ability to communicate and work together through difficult matters.
- (See Cost & Outline page for more details)
For the Wife
We are glad you are here. We know this is a painful place and know it takes courage to continue moving forward. Learning that you have been betrayed in a very personal way is devastating. This is why it is critical to reach out for support. The husband is not the only one who needs and deserves supportive care. Both individuals must find their own support person to guide them through the process. It is also essential for each partner to fully participate in a support group before, during and after the process.
The following are some of our recommendations for a successful disclosure:
- Allow yourself grace for the process
- Make your sessions with your recovery coach a priority and allow yourself time before and after those sessions to process & recover (See Cost & Outline for more explanation & details)
- Continue or join a wives’ support group
- Reach out to both your recovery coach and others in your support system often. You don’t need to go through this alone.
- Find safe people to help with your children during this process. You will need time to be alone as well as time for your sessions.
For the Husband
We are glad you are here. Honestly facing your struggles with sexual acting out behaviors is a scary place, and even the thought of sharing it all with anyone, let alone the one you have hurt the most, can be terrifying. However, we believe it is absolutely essential both for helping you find freedom, and in order to have any hope of saving (or in many cases resurrecting) your relationship with your wife.
- Your part of the process begins with you plugging into to New Hope Recovery and completing your “Three Circles” initial recovery plan.
- Work through the “Full Sexual History Inventory” in chapter 3 of Darrell Brazell’s New Hope For Sexual Integrity recovery manual.
- Once completed, you can schedule a session with your recovery coach (Usually Darrel) or counselor to go through your inventory. The primary purpose of this part is for you. It provides you an opportunity to get everything on the table with someone and experience the power of walking in the light. (See I John 1:7-9 & James 5:16). It also helps you begin to see the full extent and trajectory of your struggle over your lifetime. Finally, we will provide you with guidelines to help you write out your disclosure document as well as point you to chapter 14 “Telling your wife about your struggle” in Darrell’s New Hope For Sexual Integrity.
- Subsequent sessions will help you complete your written disclosure document, making sure it covers the “breadth and depth” of your acting out behaviors while removing the “barbs” of unnecessary details. (See note below in “Final Thoughts” about barbs) You will need to provide your recovery coach with a draft copy of your written disclosure prior to this meeting. Your coach will provide suggestions on your letter and together you will make a determination if you are ready to proceed towards the disclosure meeting or if you need more time. (Continued edits and multiple drafts via email are the norm)
- Additional individual sessions will focus on finalizing your disclosure letter, going over on the procedure we will use in your disclosure meeting as well as to process the emotions and other things you are discovering in your materials, group work and in doing the disclosure letter.
- Again, see Cost & Outline page for more details